When it is Not Possible to Hear Parashat Zakhor

Rabbi Nadav Berger

Parashat Zakhor, read on the Shabbat before Purim, is one of the few Torah readings that halakhic authorities consider to be a Torah obligation. This year, Shabbat Zakhor will take place under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic and all that means in terms of the constraints necessary for reducing contagion and saving life. In some places, it may not be possible for everyone to gather for the reading. Even where it will be possible to hold a reading, those in isolation or quarantine will not be able to attend. In contrast to the reading of the megillah on Purim, which can be read by individuals for themselves as long as they have a kosher megillah, or which may possibly be heard with the help of electronic media, the reading of Parashat Zakhor cannot be observed without a kosher Torah scroll and the physical presence of a minyan. That being the case, what should one do when it is impossible to be physically present for a reading of Parashat Zakhor?